I traveled yesterday, and my rental car had Sirius satellite radio, so I skipped through a lot of channels looking for something interesting to listen to on my trip. FOX News' Neil Cavuto interviewed Dan Rather, since his $70 million lawsuit against CBS had just been thrown out of court. Part of the interview is here.
Rather: We have strong documented evidence that what you have had here, you've had a large corporation, Viacom CBS, that basically buried an important news story in order to curry favor with and protect political interests who regulate them in Washington.Fake but accurate!
Cavuto: But they did let the story run, right? I mean, wasn't the issue with the quality of the documents that would support your story?
Rather: That was an issue, but the basic issue was whether we reported the truth. Was the story true.
Cavuto: And you stand by the story to this day that it was accurate.
Rather: I do.
Rather: I stand by the story as we reported it as accurate. But here's the important thing . . .I think he really believes that. As a "reasonable person who's trying to be fair," the side-by-side comparison of the CBS memos showing identical documents printed out using Microsoft Word at its default settings pretty much convinced me that the CBS documents were absolute, unalloyed, incompetent FAKES - and with that conclusion, anything else 60 Minutes II, CBS News and Dan Rather had to say to me was not only suspect, it was false until proven otherwise.
Cavuto: By the way, to that end then the documents that seemed to, to some experts reckoning to be forged or faked, you say no.
Rather: I do. What I say - and this is very important to me, and I think to any reasonable person who's trying to be fair about this - and that is that no one to this day, although you read about the documents were quote "forged," that they were frauds, quote unquote, nobody has proven that.
The only question I have now is whether Dan was nuts before he ran with the story, or did its exposure drive him over the brink?